Cliven Bundy and sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy of Nevada have been vindicated in federal court after being involved in an armed standoff with the government over federal land in 2014.
On Monday in Las Vegas, Judge Gloria M. Navarro of Federal District Court dismissed charges against the three men, saying that the government’s mistakes during the case were so serious that the indictment against the Bundy family members should be dismissed.
The Bundy family case has been pointed to as an example of government overreach in recent years. The standoff happened in 2014 after the Bureau of Land Management seized cattle from Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada.
Officials had demanded payment for years of back fees for letting his cattle graze on federal land, but Cliven Bundy contended that he had water rights to the land. Hundreds of activists came out to support the Bundy family members – many of them armed – at the peak of the standoff.
How did the judge decide the case?
Navarro said that prosecutors withheld key evidence, including video footage, and threw out the case based on these failures.
“Although the outcome for the Bundy family turned out happy, the story is troubling for three different reasons,” Glenn said on today’s show, listing these three objections:
- The Bundy family members and supporters enabled the situation getting out of control; it should never have escalated to the point of a standoff.
- The government massively overreacted by bringing in a surveillance program and then tried to cover up their mistakes.
- The federal government has “zero business managing public land” in the first place.
Tell us your thoughts on this ruling in the comment section below.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
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This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: So it all went down four years ago, and we all remember it. Cliven Bundy and his sons refused to pay federal grazing fees and then stared down the government agents as they attempted to confiscate their cattle. It kicked off an armed standoff with many people fearing outcomes like Ruby Ridge. After the situation cooled, Cliven and his two sons and a militia member were arrested, and in the words of Cliven Bundy, they were political prisoners ever since.
Yesterday, a federal judge threw out the government’s case against the Bundys and set them all free.
The judge used the words flagrant and reckless, not for the Bundys. Those were the words she described — she used to describe the government and the way they withheld evidence from the defense. It turns out the information the federal agents were withholding were information regarding records about surveillance at the Bundy ranch, maps about the government’s surveillance, records about the presence of government snipers, FBI logs about activities at the ranch leading up to the standoff, a 2012 law enforcement assessment that found that the Bundys posed no threat, and internal affairs reports about misconduct by BLM agents.
Imagine, if we went to war with a country, and our soldiers misbehaved, we did all kinds of research on it, we had all kinds of facts that showed none of this was really true, and the people that we went after, there were reports that said they weren’t really a threat to us! And then the CIA tried to cover it all up.
Well, that’s exactly what this sounds like. Although the outcome for the Bundy family turned out happy, the story is troubling for three different reasons.
#1, the Bundys and everyone involved in the standoff enabled them to escalate way out of control. It should have never gotten as far as it did.
But #2, the government likewise went off the rails with this — in the way that they behaved is insane for America. A massive surveillance operation? Snipers, out of control BLM agents, and then trying to lie to cover it all up?
And #3. This is the most important. This story is much larger than the Bundys. The misconduct of the federal agents, and most of the other headlines that you’re going to see about this story, it’s bigger than this. The story really is about one thing: The federal government has zero business managing public land. Period. Judge Navarro called the government’s actions in handling the Bundy case, quote, a reckless disregard for Constitutional obligations, end quote.
Yes! Somebody who’s actually a judge used the word Constitution in their ruling in an appropriate way!
But I contend the entire premise for the government seizing land and then charging private citizens to work on it is also a reckless disregard for Constitutional obligations.
Here’s a notice to Washington, D.C.: You have no right meddling or managing public land. The people who live around the land are much more qualified, and they care much more.
It belongs to the 321 million people that live here in America. And quite honestly, as somebody who has a piece of land that is surrounded by public land, we don’t want your help. Nor do we need it.